Planet Rugby

Thomas sends Scarlets out on a high

11th May 2007 21:01

Share:

A virtuoso second-half performance from fly-half Ceiron Thomas ensured that the Scarlets overpowered Connacht 19-10 in their final Magners League encounter at Stradey Park on Friday.

Thomas scored a brace of tries early in the second half as the Welsh side struggled to put away a plucky Irish province.

In a mistake-ridden clash, the home side failed to find the fluency of recent matches, but still had too much firepower for the visitors.

The match marked veteran Davies's final match in professional rugby after an illustrious career spanning three decades.

The 38-year-old received a standing ovation as he led the Scarlets on to the field and was quickly involved in the action as the home side tried to give him a fitting send-off.

However, missing most of their senior internationals, the Heineken Cup semi-finalists lacked their usual pace and invention on a pitch saturated by the heavy rain that had swept across south Wales during the day.

It was pretty dire stuff in front of a half-empty Stradey with mistake littering the opening half.

It was Connacht, who have enjoyed a couple of famous nights in Llanelli, who were first on the scoreboard with a 35-metre penalty from centre Mark McHugh after 20 minutes.

The Scarlets did manage to cross the whitewash after 34 minutes following a bullocking charge from impressive prop Phil John,

But with men to spare out wide wing Matthew Watkins looped a forward pass to number eight Nathan Thomas five yards out and the chance was lost.

It proved a story of the half for the Scarlets - bonus point winners in their last two home matches.

Phil Davies must have issued some sharp words at half-time because his charges then came out firing after the break.

Within two minutes of the restart fly-half Thomas did well to swerve over after the Connacht defence had been stretched out wide.

Then, five minutes later Thomas crossed again courtesy of an opportunist effort from a quickly taken penalty, with the Connacht defence expecting a kick to the corner.

With both sides making wholesale changes the game inevitably lost its pattern in the final quarter.

But with seven minutes remaining centre Gavin Evans claimed the Scarlets third after good work from replacement full-back Daniel Evans, on his regional debut.

Thomas converted from the touchline and then replacement prop Craig Dunlea was sin-binned for a professional foul late on.

Connacht did manage a late try through flanker John Muldoon, converted by McHugh, but it had little effect on the outcome of the match.

The scorers:

For the Scarlets:

Tries: Ceiron Thomas 2, Evans

Cons: Ceiron Thomas 2

For Connacht:

Try: Muldoon

Con: McHugh

Pen: McHugh

Yellow card: Dunlea (78, Scarlets)

Llanelli Scarlets: 15 Barry Davies, 14 Garan Evans, 13 Regan King, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Matthew Watkins, 10 Ceiron Thomas, 9 Liam Davies, 8 Nathan Thomas, 7 James Bater (c), 6 Dafydd Jones, 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Adam Jones, 3 John Davies, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.

Replacements: 16 Craig Dunlea, 17 Daniel George, 18 Inoke Afeaki, 19 John Mills, 20 Clive Stuart-Smith, 21 Daniel Evans, 22 Paul Mackey.

Connacht: 15 Daniel Riordan, 14 John Hearty, 13 Gavin Duffy, 12 Matt McHugh, 11 Conor McPhillips, 10 Peter Durcan, 9 Chris Keane, 8 Colm Rigney, 7 John Muldoon, 6 David Gannon, 5 Andrew Farley, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Ray Hogan, 2 J Fogarty (c), 1 Brett Wilkinson

Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, David McGowan, Andrew Browne, Aidan Wynne, Ted Robinson, Darren Yapp

Referee: Andy MacPherson (Scotland)

Touch judges: James Jones (Wales), Greg Morgan (Wales)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954